Before most high school football teams in the state hit the gridiron for their first regular season game, the Johnson High football team will have already been tested.
One of the biggest blessings for first-year Riverside Military coach Gary Downs may be a bye week right away on Aug. 31.
It's all anybody wants to talk about, but it's also not until November.
It's shaping up to be an exciting season at Gainesville. The Red Elephants (12-2 in 2011) have one of the state's best high school quarterbacks, Deshaun Watson, along with a handful of receivers with speed, a trio of running backs who can help mix things up on offense and a deep group of defensive backs.
Tyler Dominy likes the pressure that comes with having an offense at his fingertips.
Lakeview Academy coach Matthew Gruhn hopes that a greatly expanded roster will lead to even more success than the Lions' back-to-back 4-4 seasons.
Last year, Chestatee's season, to an extent, hung in the balance on the fourth game of the season against Monroe Area, the first subregion game of the year.
With only five wins in the past three seasons combined, West Hall is opening a new chapter with first-year head coach Tony Lotti.
In only one quarter of play, Gainesville junior quarterback Deshaun Watson completed 4 of 6 passes for 85 yards, including a long pass to sophomore Rodney Lackey for a gain of 25, in a scrimmage Friday against Creekview in Canton. Gainesville coach Bruce Miller said that play swung the momentum of the game early in a 39-7 win for the Red Elephants.
East Hall coach Bryan Gray and Chestatee coach Stan Luttrell are both encouraged by what they saw in their teams' scrimmage on Thursday at War Eagle Stadium.
Gainesville coach Bruce Miller has some things he wants to accomplish in Friday's scrimmage at Creekview. Winning is not really one of them.
High school football season is drawing closer each day. Even though the regular season is still a couple of weeks away for most Georgia teams, scrimmages will be scattered across the area this weekend.
Lumpkin County football coach Tommy Jones is preparing for his seventh year at the helm of the Indians and looking to improve on a 6-4 record in 2011.
Flowery Branch coach Chris Griffin laughed when asked recently how much more he knew about his football team since the full pads were put on.
In his first two stops, Bill Ballard made winners out of Tucker and Peachtree Ridge, notching 12 wins in four of his first seven seasons as a head coach.
Kelly Davis saw the invitation to take over as Riverside Military Academy football coach as the ultimate vote of confidence.
ACWORTH - Gainesville was in it to the very end.
JEFFERSON - The Jefferson Dragons' run at a second state championship in three seasons ended Friday night at Jefferson Memorial Stadium.
BUFORD - Determination helped Joshua Thomas and Buford take control Friday night and punch the Wolves' ticket into the state semifinals for an eighth consecutive season.
COMMERCE - It wasn't a win for the highlight reel, but Commerce coach Michael Brown will take it.
BUFORD - For Evyn Cooper, it was all about being the next man up.
HAMILTON – Mikey Gonzalez has carved out his own legacy for Gainesville. His year as the Red Elephants' signal-caller will be remembered for winning huge games with clutch performances.
JEFFERSON - The No. 1-seed Jefferson Dragons put together another dominant performance in the Class AAA state playoffs Friday night at Memorial Stadium, ousting the No. 3-seeded Dodge County Indians, 27-7.
COMMERCE - Once Will Thomas found running room, there was no stopping him.
Tapped out of energy from a three-hour slugfest and numb from freezing temperatures most of the night, Gainesville's players were still able to celebrate following Friday's playoff opener against Creekview.
Elbert County bested Lumpkin County 28-18 in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs on Friday night in Dahlonega.
BUFORD - Sixteen different players carried the ball as top-ranked Buford racked up 423 rushing yards on 36 carries to defeat Southeast Whitfield 63-0 in the opening round of the Class AAAA playoffs on Friday at Tom Riden Stadium.
HARTWELL - Bryan Gray looked over his team of quiet, disappointed East Hall Vikings and gave them a simple message following their 42-14 loss at Hart County.
The running of Kwon Williams and Tyquan Statham was a perfect analogy for the West Hall football team's mentality on Friday night. Quite simply, the Spartans refused to go down without a fight.
JEFFERSON - With freezing temperatures, it took a little time for the Jefferson Dragons' offense to warm up offensively during its Class AAA state playoff opener against the Franklin County Lions.